Also going on the list for "Why 2014 is a WAAAY Better Year than the Previous"
- I started the year in NYC watching (from a considerable distance away) the Times Square Ball drop.
- My dad recieved another "cancer-free" scan from his oncologist and doesn't have to have another one for a year.
- This morning, I ran 2.9 miles in 25 minutes (my first mile clocking in at 8:14)
- My tiny, aging congregation is staring possible closure (within the year) in the face and has decided to throw caution to the wind and come out as an "Open and Affirming" church. Meaning - welcoming and advocating for LGBTQIA persons.
To sum it up:
I'm healthier than I've ever been (and so is my DAD)
I'm happier than I've been in years
I'm fulfilled in my vocation
I live by the beach
Past experience tells me that I could lose all of this in a flash. My health could take a sudden turn. A hurricane could decimate the island. My congregation could close despite fervent efforts to serve and grow. The list of possible badness is endless. But past experience also tells me that almost all badness is survivable. Given enought time, all the badness that existence can churn out can be invariably transformed into perspective and growth. Now I know that my spirit is a crucible in which suffering can be poured into and heated and shaped into another ladder rung on which I climb up into my future.
Step up, step up, step up, step up...
I've not made any resolutions for this new year. But perhaps I should because I've discovered that I now have a deep wellsping of LIFE from which to draw. Now that I'm doing more than just "surviving", now that I can look into my future and postulate hope, I fairly brim with energy for the days ahead. I still have a full plate - a church I am working to revitalize and a son that I raise by myself. But maybe, just maybe I can choose some simple challenge and grow. I cooked quinoa for the first time the other day, so maybe I'll learn to cook like a grown up. I can run 3 miles without hoping for death, so maybe I'll sign up for a 5K. And then a 10K.
I've walked through a valley of shadows and death and God has given me the power to come out the other side. So surely I can find within me the strength to do more, to be more, to test myself, to conquer a fear, to stretch beyond my boundaries and discover new and challenging landscapes both within and outside of myself.
This year could be full of joy. It could also be packed with failure and dissapointments. Most likely, it will be a mixture of both. But I can walk through it, climb up out of it, be changed by it, and live. So can you my friends.
Step up, step up, step up into you year, into the life that awaits you just beyond sight. We will do it better together, I think.